Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Wyden, Merkley: All oil trains should report routes, not just some

By Rob Davis | rdavis@oregonian.com 
May 9, 2014  The Oregonian

Oregon Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley called Friday for the U.S. Department of Transportation to require more disclosure of oil train routes to first responders around the country, saying an emergency order this week didn’t go far enough.

On Wednesday, the Department of Transportation issued an order requiring railroads carrying more than 1 million gallons of highly flammable North Dakota oil in a single train – about 35 tank cars – to tell state authorities how many trains they expect to move weekly through each county. Railroads also must disclose the routes and notify the state before making significant changes to shipment volumes or frequencies.

But the order has a limited impact in Oregon because it only applies to trains carrying oil from North Dakota’s Bakken region, not other oil-producing areas.

Citing The Oregonian’s reporting on Union Pacific’s plans to increasingly move mile-long trains of crude oil from Utah on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge -- shipments the order doesn’t cover -- the senators said all oil trains should have to report their routes, volumes and frequencies.
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see also:  Railroads claim national security in keeping oil train routes secret, but feds say not so

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